If you're willing to take a beating every now and again, riding the park and hitting non-snow (jib) features is one of the most fun things you can do on your snowboard. Over the next few pages, we've collated 20 of the best park and jib snowboards for the 2014/2015 season
How to choose a park/jib snowboard
How do you go about picking the right park or jib specific board? Here are few things to think about before parting ways with your hard-earned cash:
As a general rule of thumb, most park/jib specific boards will have slightly softer overall flexes than their more all-mountain oriented counterparts, making them much more manoeuvrable at lower speeds, and allowing riders to butter and press features more easily.
Boards optimised for rail riding will be the softest of the bunch, while more all-round freestyle decks better suited to jumping will be stiffer to give you more stability when landing. At the end of the day though, the flex you like best all comes down to personal preference.
Shape and Base Pofile:
The vast majority of park/jib specific boards will use a true twin outline, allowing you to ride switch just as comfortably as in your regular direction.
Base profiles will largely dictate the feel of your ride with reverse camber boards being better suited for jibbing (easier to press, more forgiving and less prone to hooking up), while camber boards will handle jumps much better (more pop, more responsive, less prone to washing out on landing). Flat profiles typically offer up the best of both worlds, as do hybrid profiles, which blend camber and reverse camber sections together.
What really sets jib and park boards apart from each other are the other construction features. Look out for carbon stringers in key spots for added pop, magnetraction for better on-snow grip and dampening in the sidewalls to protect your edges from rail impacts. Also worth paying attention to is the base construction. Extruded bases are more durable, easier to repair but less speedy than their more expensive sintered brothers.
Over the next few slides you'll find 20 snowboards that have been tried and tested in parks around the world:
APO Selekta 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 147, 150, 153, 156 | Price: €379 | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: Directional twin | Camber type: Reverse | Flex: 4
The Selekta is APO's all-out jib specific model. Engineered with a buttery soft flex and true twin shape it's easy to see how this one will be popular with the park and rail riders out there. Reverse camber in the nose and tail make locking into presses a breeze, while the flat section between the feet provides stability.
The Selekta is the perfect board for anyone who rides park 24/7. Its rocker and its softness are awesome for rails and jumps. - Rowan Coultas
Arbor Draft 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 143, 147, 150, 153, 155, 158 | Price: €400 | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: True twin | Camber type: Reverse | Flex: 3
Packed with all of the features you'd expect in a solid jib board including a true twin shape, soft flexing poplar wood core, and durable and easy to maintain extruded base, the Draft is a true work-horse of a jib board.
The Arbor Draft is the board that you'll find team rider Scotty Vine attacking the streets and park with, and if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for us!
Bataleon Global Warmer 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 148, 154, 157, 156w | Price: €479.99 | Suggested use: Park | Shape: Twin | Camber type: TBT | Flex: 3
The Bataleon Global Warmer rules. Featuring a nice soft flex pattern and premium materials, this one’s pretty much a jibbers cadillac. Horizontal carbon stringers provide extra torsional stiffness for great edge to edge response and the tip to tail camber of the TBT makes this one nice and poppy.
This one is amazing fun to ride and we highly recommend it for jibbers looking for a high end stick that they can also take off jumps and around the mountain.
Burton Name Dropper 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 148, 151, 155, 158 | Price: €400 | Suggested use: Park/jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Flat | Flex: 4
The Burton Name Dropper snowboard is a park-crushing beast of a snowboard. Featuring Burton's Off-Axis technology, everything in this board, from the edges, to the flex of the core, has been engineered to suit the way you stand on your snowboard, meaning smoother take-offs, cleaner landings and the smoothest ride possible.
Burton have built this one with a flat profile between the feet for smooth predictability and stability without compromising its ability to press or pop, which are all characteristics that the well-rounded kicker and rail rider should be looking for in their board.
Capita Scott Stevens 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 151, 153, 155 | Price: €479.00 | Suggested use: Freestyle | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Reverse Camber | Flex: 5.5
We’ll keep this one short: you know what you’re getting when you pick up a Scott Stevens board. Super playful, relatively soft flexing, creativity conducive awesomeness.
Although not a total noodle, this one is definitely still soft enough for jibbing, tail blocks and riding the whole mountain like a park. It provides a lively and super fun ride and features full edge dampening too, because nobody likes chatter.
DC PBJ 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 144, 149, 153, 157, 155w, 159w | Price: €329.95 | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Camber | Flex: 5
The PBJ (park board for jibbing) has been DC's go-to park/jib board for a good long while now. And it's really not difficult to see why.
With a traditional camber profile you'll have all the pop you need to hit jumps with confidence, while the relatively soft/mid flex keeps it buttery enough for pressing on rails - the best of both worlds!
While you will find softer boards out there if you're looking to purely focus on rails, or stiffer boards if you're more into jumps, the PBJ should be the perfect fit for the park rider looking for a traditional camber board to master all aspects of the park with.
Drake Grind 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 151, 156, 160, 152w, 157w, 160w | Price: €N/A | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Hybrid | Flex: 3
Although not the softest board in the Drake line (the street orientated 'Urban' takes that spot), the Grind is still squarely aimed at the jib-focused park rider looking for a soft and durable board to slide rails on.
With a tried and tested true twin shape combined with a 'microcamber' base profile (mellow camber between the feet and rocker in the nose and tail), the Grind is forgiving, predictable and perfectly tuned to park riding.
GNU Space Case 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 147, 150, 153, 156, 159 | Price: €579.95 | Suggested use: Jib/All Mountain | Shape: Twin | Base Profile: Hybrid | Flex: 4.5
Forest Bailey’s Space Case is everything you’d expect from GNU’s staple jibber: soft enough for presses but not a complete noodle either, giving you enough back to ride it over the whole mountain, without getting too squirrely either.
If you're looking for a freestyle board that is packed with tech and optimised for park riding, but that you can also rely on over the whole mountain, the Space Case is the snowboard for you.
Head Evil i Flocka 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 138, 142, 146, 149, 152, 155, 158, 161 | Price: €399.95 | Suggested use: Park/Jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Hybrid | Flex: 5
Alex Tank's pro model Head snowboard is a high-end park/jib board stuffed with a whole load of tech. From its twin outline to its unique hammerhead shape to give the nose and tail a greater surface area for sticking landings, the Evil i Flocka has been precision engineered to suit technical freestyle snowboarders like Alex perfectly.
The bamboo core is super lightweight and responsive, while basalt stringers add extra snap without increasing weight. Add to that 'Intellifibers' which absorb energy at speed and stiffen up to give you more response whan you need it, and a super fast sintered base, and you end up with one of the most advanced freestyle boards on the market.
K2 WWW 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 144, 148, 152, 156, 151w, 153w, 157w | Price: €399.95 | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Flat | Flex: 3
There isn't much to say about the WWW (World Wide Weapon) that hasn't already been said. As one of the longest running jib boards on the market, the WWW is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.
With a flat base profile and soft flex for the perfect balance between soft butterability and pop, and a blunted nose and tail shape to make spinning onto rails easier, the Weapon is an extremely safe choice if you're looking for a predictable board to murder the park with.
Lib Tech Skate Banana 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 145n, 148n, 151n, 149, 152, 154, 156, 159, 162, 153w, 156w, 159w, 162w | Price: €489.95 | Suggested use: Freestyle | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Hybrid | Flex: 5
The Lib Tech Skate Banana is perhaps one of the more all-mountain orientated park boards in this list, but as one of the most popular boards out there, we felt that it definitely deserved a spot.
The Skate Banana does exactly what it says on the tin (well, base): a skate-like feel with reverse camber between the feet for superior float in pow and maneuverability, combined with camber at the nose and tail for pop.
It's worth bearing in mind though that the Skate Banana is no one trick pony, and has more than enough oomph in it to slay the whole mountain.
Lobster Jib Baord 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 144, 148, 151, 154w | Price: €379.99 | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Triple Base Technology | Flex: 2
Halldor and Eiki Helgason have got that whole marketing thing down to a science. Instead of branding their boards up with crazy names that don't really mean anything, they opted to keep their product line straight forward and to the point.
The Lobster Jib Baord (typo fully intended), is a board designed for exactly that: jibbing. As the softest flexing board in the line and kitted out with Lobster's jib-specific Triple Base Technology, this board will feel perfectly at home sliding over any non-snow surface that you throw in its path.
This is the board that Eiki Helgason swears by on his rail missions in Iceland, and with it's soft flex and predictable feel, it's easy to see why.
Nitro Bad Seed 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 146, 149, 152, 155 | Price: €499.90 | Suggested use: Park/jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Camber | Flex: 5
The Bad Seed is a brand new board in the Nitro line, introduced to coincide with their new team movie of the same name. The Bad Seed is a no frills, all-round park slayer, with enough tech and pop in it to allow you to go both big on jumps and press your way through the double kink rail.
The board is constructed using Nitro's new 'Lowrider Camber' - a mellow positive camber that delivers flex without sacrificing stability, snap and pop so you can press for days without worrying about wash-outs on landings. The fast sintered base, 'Powder Pods' and durable 'Railkiller' edges make this a must-have in any serious park rider's arsenal.
Ride Kink 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 143, 147, 152, 155, 149w, 153w, 156w, 159w | Price: €379.95 | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Reverse | Flex: 2
The Ride Kink is another board that needs no introduction. The Kink has been the "definitive jib deck" in Ride's line for years, and is still going strong in 2014/2015.
With a super soft flex (Ride give it a 2 out of 10), and a Twin Rocker shape (a large flat section between the feet with mellow rocker in the nose and tail), expect presses to come easy with this catch-free beaut of a board.
With cleavage and sphinxes on the topsheet you can't really go wrong with that graphic either.
Rome Butterknife 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 146, 149, 152, 155 | Price: €429.90 | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: Twin | Base profile: Rocker | Flex: 3
As you might be able to gather from the name, the Rome Butterknife is fine tuned for buttery goodness and jibbing. The board has a super soft flex which makes locking into presses a breeze.
That said, it's not a complete noodle either thanks to the Hotrods in the nose and tail which give the board extra ollie power and snap.
This one is definitely better suited to jib kids and park rats though rather than riders looking to focus on jumps or all mountain.
Salomon The Villain 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 147, 150, 153, 155, 158, 155w, 158w | Price: €449.95 | Suggested use: Park/jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Hybrid | Flex: 4
The Villain was designed under the watchful eye of world-renowned rail rider Louif Paradis, and has quickly become one of the most popular boards in Salomon's line.
The board features Salomon's 'Rock Out' camber, with a flat section under the feet for stability, camber under-foot for pop and rocker in the nose and tail for pressability. The 'EQ Rad' sidecut gives the board superior grip while the sintered base is lightening fast, making this a pretty high-end board tuned for rails and park features.
Salomon have given it a soft/mid flex at 4/10 on their scales.
Slash Paxson 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 149, 152, 154, 156, 158 | Price: €429 | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Flat | Flex: 5
The Paxson is an absolute powerhouse of a park/jib board. With a mid flex and what they call 'Reactive Flex' - that bends the board into a concave shape when sliding through boardslides to prevent edge catching, it's got some serious tech built into it.
The board has 'Sweet Spot' carbon stringers in the nose and tail for added pop but the flex is still nice and soft for presses. Add to that a super fast sintered base and a mean panther graphic influenced by one of Johnnie's childhood snowboards, and you have one awesome park board.
Smokin’ Buck Ferton 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 147, 151, 155, 158, 161, 155w, 158w, 161w | Price: €539.99 | Suggested use: Freestyle | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Hybrid | Flex: 5
The Smokin Buck Ferton may have a controversial name, but the way it rides is as clear-cut as they come: super fun, jibby ride with plenty of snap in the nose and tail thanks to hemp cross strings.
The Buck Ferton is another high-end jib board packed with tech including a sintered 6000 base, ultra-grippy magnetraction edges, 3 stage dampening and much more. With a soft/mid flex this one is tuned to handle both rails and kickers and you'll be amazed at how much pop it has.
Völkl GeniX 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 148, 152, 156w, 160w | Price: €349.95 | Suggested use: Jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Hybrid | Flex: 4
The Völkl GeniX is a killer board to take all over the park. Featuring mellow camber between the feet and rocker in the nose and tail you get all the response, grip and pop benefits of camber with the added float and pressability of rocker.
The GeniX's blunted shape allows the effective edge to be extended, to create a board that can be ridden shorter for increased maneuverability. Nothing but good times on rails and kickers to be had with this one!
YES The Public 2014 2015 Snowboard Review
Sizes: 148, 151, 154 | Price: €379 | Suggested use: Park/jib | Shape: Twin | Camber type: Flat | Flex: 5
The Public is Frank April's pro model YES board and it's engineered to suit the DEJA VU street rail crusher down to a tee. Flat profile for stability and the perfect compromise between pop an playfulness? Check. Thinner core sections between the feet and slightly thicker 'bumps' outside them for added pop? Check. Durable extruded base that can withstand the multiple rail impacts? Check.
The Public is bomb proof.